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AIBU to think mum has been unfair and to feel hurt?

(25 Posts)
AnotherEmma Sun 09-Nov-14 15:47:16

I'm in my late 20s, I have a younger sister who's nearly 21, and our mum is in her 50s. Technically my sister is my half sister (we have different dads) but we're very close, especially now we're older. I'm not usually jealous and I don't normally compare, but I can't help feeling a bit hurt that mum is being much more generous to my sister. Our birthdays are in the same month and for my sister's birthday, mum is taking her to New York and giving her a leather handbag. For my birthday she gave me two items of clothing, which are nice but not my style. I realise my birthday isn't a milestone like 21, but for my 21st (admittedly a long time ago now!) mum didn't take me to New York or do anything similar. Obviously I'm independent now, I have a good job and I don't need expensive presents. But I can't help thinking that mum could have made a bit more effort for my birthday, especially given what she's doing for my sister this year. It also reminded me that mum bought my sister a car (admittedly a second hand one) a couple of years ago, when she had never done the same for me. At the time I didn't think anything of it - I was just happy for my sister that she got a car - but my husband commented on it. Now I'm wondering if it's always going to be like this and mum is going to carry on spoiling my sister. I realise I'm probably being unreasonable and should get over my jealousy, but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice for me? We are spending next weekend together (the three of us) to celebrate our birthdays and I really want us all to enjoy it!

NickiFury Sun 09-Nov-14 15:50:06

Is it possible that your Mum is better off financially these days so has more to spend? I have seen the same with my parents and my younger sister after I left home but it was purely that they were much better off financially and I was married and independent.

WrappedInABlankie Sun 09-Nov-14 15:55:44

My mum did this to us, it was very annoying.

She always said she wouldn't pay for driving and insurance, weddings and once at working age rent etc

She paid for my sisters wedding and my 20 year old brother still lives at home whilst she paying for £100 Nike trainers every week, weed, clothes, money for Booze etc. she paid for his moped and insured him brought him petrol helmets etc

she refused to buy me anything and I paid for myself to drive and my insurance, I moved out and live on my own and don't see her anymore that's a hole other thread though..

It's horrible but brings me comfort to know I won't do that to my children knowing how it's felt thanks

Mrsjayy Sun 09-Nov-14 15:55:50

There is 13yes between me and my sister she still lives at home we are treTed differently try and not let it bother you I know its difficult though is your mum still with her dad

DaisyFlowerChain Sun 09-Nov-14 15:56:10

Is it your mum funding the items or her dad?

Mrsjayy Sun 09-Nov-14 15:57:05

Years* sorry

Mrsjayy Sun 09-Nov-14 15:58:37

Fgs typos today treated blush my sister is my half sister too

Nomama Sun 09-Nov-14 16:01:25

It seems to be the way of the older child!

Happened to me too, and DH. It has taken some time for my sister to realise that, as a kid, I did have a reason for thinking she was spoiled. She has always been told I didn't want to do the things she did... reality was my clothes were usually hand me downs from a family friend and many of my possessions were regularly regifted to cousins and I never went on school trips and DSis got nothing but new toys, clothes etc and went on every school trip she asked for.

Looking back at it now neither of us have any idea why we were treated so differently. We are just a bit resentful it stood in the way of us being friends.

Turquoisetamborine Sun 09-Nov-14 16:02:05

That would piss me off.

My mil last year took my bil to Denmark for a week and bought him an iphone for his birthday. My H who is three years older got a crappy Asda dressing gown.

She's a cunt.

Kewcumber Sun 09-Nov-14 16:04:42

I'm not so far from your mum in age and I do think there is a temptation to "spoil" unmarried children more than those with their own family. Particualry if there is no-one else to make a fuss of them.

Its also possible that your mum has more money than she had when you were 21 or that she feels awkward using money from your step-dad to pay for your presents.

But yes I can see why it would make you feel hurt. As its her 21st I wouldn't make a big issue of it but if it continues in the coming years I might gently tell her that you do feel a bit hurt by the disparity.

snickers251 Sun 09-Nov-14 16:05:18

13 years between me and my sister and in exactly the same boat

when I was struggling a few years ago it really hurt seeing my dsis getting spoilt rotten while I selling anything worth a bit of value just to pay rent

Nowadays my dsis is reaching an age where we can both see our dm faults (her lack of fairness not being the most upsetting!) and were closer than ever which is far more valuable than my mum buying me the same as dsis

It's exactly the same with my dh and his junior dsis too hmm

AnotherEmma Sun 09-Nov-14 16:05:41

Thanks for your replies. No, our mum isn't with her dad any more, they separated and divorced when I was about 19-20 (my sister was 11-12). And it's our mum buying her the car, New York trip etc, not her dad.

I'm not sure whether mum is better off now, she probably feels more financially stable (given that she had recently separated when I was 21) She is always saying she "can't afford" things... but then she can "afford" the things she wants to spend money on, so she's probably better off than she likes to admit. She's always been a bit funny about money.

I think it's the age gap that makes it difficult to be equal/fair, with 8 years between us our situations are different, and mum's situation has changed over the years. But I still think that if she can afford to treat my sister for her birthday, she can afford to treat me too. It's not just about the money, I would appreciate inexpensive, thoughtful gifts or a present that would involve spending time together.

AnotherEmma Sun 09-Nov-14 16:16:14

Sorry to hear about other people who have also been treated unequally by their parents. It sucks but it's a small comfort to know we're not alone!

wrappedinablankie
I'm sorry to hear you don't see your mother any more, it sounds like it's probably for the best though. Your children are lucky to have a mother who is determined not to repeat her mother's mistakes smile

kewcumber
[quote]As its her 21st I wouldn't make a big issue of it but if it continues in the coming years I might gently tell her that you do feel a bit hurt by the disparity.[/quote]
Yep it's my 30th next year so I hope mum gets me a good present then! If she gets my sister a better present again I would be seriously annoyed!

Patrickstarisabadbellend Sun 09-Nov-14 16:25:03

Same here. I'm the eldest and I have 2 brothers and a sister.

The younger 2 had hudatscwurh school, new clothes and toys. I had hand me downs and second hand things.

My mum always had spare cash for fags though hmm

Mrsjayy Sun 09-Nov-14 16:26:54

I had my first baby youngish sister was still in primary so of course we were going to be treated differently but it didn't stop as she became an adult.if im honest it really used to piss me off but I had to stop worrying me as I was becoming bitter about it especially as we struggled with money when dds were young and she was being spoiled, as I said it isn't easy to deal with. my sister didn't ask to be the favoured child though.

WrappedInABlankie Sun 09-Nov-14 17:16:09

As for age difference there's 11 months between us and she's earns the same. She does the whole I can't afford to lend you £10 as I brought your brother £200 worth of trainers and now I have no money hmm he's the baby and quite literally can't Hoover, wash, Cook gave himself food poisoning on more than one occasion as he could wait for it to cook go clothes shopping on his own. She literally is a little shy of dumping him in a pram and wiping his arse for him wink

But it makes us stronger

Sarkymare Sun 09-Nov-14 17:43:50

My mum did this. My sister is 10 years younger than me. When she was 5 she got a flat screen free view tv for her bedroom. I was stuck with channels 1-5 on a second hand fuzzy tv.

I never had a birthday party or even two friends round for a pizza. My sister had a party every year and then a second party for her stuffed toy!! complete with birthday cake.

She booted me out before I was sixteen and it still bothers me now. More so since she has brought a car for my stepdads daughter who have only been in contact for the past year.

I don't have a solution. I just wanted you to know YANBU. Not at all.

Sarkymare Sun 09-Nov-14 17:44:52

Forgot to add that my sister and I have different fathers.

ScrabbledLeggsAndToes Sun 09-Nov-14 18:07:38

Yanbu - It sucks being a least favourite child. I am from a big family (one of eight children). They are all my full brothers and sisters too. I am definitely the least favoured child. I can't go into detail without outing myself, but basically my mum has shown recently, that I could disappear off the face of the Earth and she would not even notice. Strangely, when we were growing up we were all treated fairly. It is since we have matured things have changed.

Ds is one of three kids, and he is the least favoured too.

Is has seriously made us think about keeping ds an only child.

oldgrandmama Sun 09-Nov-14 18:32:37

Oh dear, it's tricky. I have two now middle-aged kids. I've ALWAYS tried to treat them equally, even at times when one or the other earned more. So they've pretty well, over many years, received about the same in gifts, financial help. I do think it's unfair of parents to be blatantly unfair when doling out stuff to their children. It causes so much ill feeling.

Firsttimer7259 Sun 09-Nov-14 18:45:35

During my teens my older sis - 2 years older was showered w presents. I was pretty neglected. She got a stereo system and a car. My mum and both sisters headed off to Europe for the summers and I was left to run the household for my workaholic father.
part of the reasoning was I could handle this - my patents relationship w older sis was v strained. To this day I wonder if the gifts were to make up for poor relationship or because they liked her more. My younger sis is five years younger and grew up when parents much better off financially.
I try not to resent it but it hurts - during my childhood I was a bit like Cinderella living in hand me downs, given second hand cast offs as presents. Still makes me sad

Sorry it's hard not to feel hurt and I took dome distance from my family because I had internalized that I don't matter so much and it was damaging

vienna1981 Sun 09-Nov-14 20:05:46

I am the youngest child of seven. And just in case anyone out there thinks the youngest gets it easy, they don't. My mother, now sadly deceased, would never accept that I was getting
a little older, day by day, week by
week and so on. It was so often the
case that because I was the
youngest I wasn't allowed or entitled
to such and such. Even as a
youngster I could see that attitude
defied logic. I was always going to be
the youngest therefore it would never
be my turn. And I was mollycoddled
right into my teens. In a restaurant
my mother had a habit of questioning
my choices: "are you sure that's what
you want ?", "that's a bit good for
you, I think. "
So often, I felt like a second class
citizen in the company of my family. I
don't doubt my mum didn't have bad
intentions. She just made it very
difficult for me to grow up in some
respects.

Now, at the age of 43, I am frequently
racked with depression, in and out of therapy and courses of
antidepressants, single all my adult
life, a virgin, yet to start dating, no
girlfriends at all and I find it hard to
get on with women. I envy my older
siblings with largely successful
professional and private lives who
were allowed to grow up and not
treated like children until very
recently.


I hate to rubbish my upbringing, especially now Mum can't defend herself but it's left its mark.

vienna1981 Sun 09-Nov-14 20:07:10

OP. I'm sorry to have hijacked your thread. I had to get that lot off my chest.smile

ScrabbledLeggsAndToes Sun 09-Nov-14 20:26:41

My post is supposed to say DH is one of three children, not ds.

So sorry to hear all your sad experiences. It is so unfair

Take care, everybody thanks

AnotherEmma Sun 09-Nov-14 20:57:41

Hi Vienna, no need to apologise, sharing is what MN is for. Sorry to hear about your experiences, I hope you can find the right support to help you work through your difficulties. I think the right therapy can do wonders so maybe keep trying until you find a therapist who can help you.

What's that saying / poem? "They f**k you up, your mum and dad"...?!

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